Guinea pigs are adorable little creatures and great family pets, but they can be prone to a number of different illnesses and diseases.
From feeding newborn pets to caring them as they get older, looking after your guinea pig involves have a reasonable level of understanding as to what you can do to prevent or treat a variety of issues that they might be affected by.
Family unit or solo – can make a difference
If you choose to keep a single guinea pig or prefer to have a group of them to keep each other company as well as enjoying your social interaction, this will make a difference to the sort of illnesses and diseases that they are more likely to suffer from.
You will often find that infectious diseases like various strains of a virus or bacteria are more common when you keep more than one guinea pig. When you just have the one pet, it does leave them more susceptible to issues like reproductive disorders, dental disease and various problems that result through aging.
All guinea pigs are vulnerable to disease and illnesses at some level, regardless of whether they live alone or in a group, but you need to try and keep an eye on their health as they can develop complications quite quickly, especially as they get older.
Prevention better than cure
Guinea pigs do not often cope well with illness or diseases and there is no doubt that prevention of health problems through proactive care and assessment, is much better than trying to put them back on the mend.
Many guinea pigs are likely to become stressed when they become ill and although you may think that you are being kind and caring by holding it, you are often better leaving them alone so that they don’t get any more stressed than they already are.
One of the big problems with treating guinea pigs is that they don’t always respond well to antibiotics, which can give them problems in their digestive tract. If your guinea pig does have to take some antibiotics on veterinary advice, it can develop side-effects such as dehydration, diarrhea, loss of appetite and drop in their body temperature.
Your guinea pig can easily suffer from a digestive disorder if they are fed an improper diet.
Make sure that they get a reasonable amount of roughage in their diet and keep a check on the level of grains and sugars they are consuming, especially when they are showing signs of suffering from diarrhea.
Access to a regular supply of clean water is always important and be vigilant about removing any uneaten food, as this will help to prevent them from developing an infection.
The best advice for keeping your pet guinea pig as healthy as possible and to allow them to enjoy a long and happy life, is to care for them by cleaning their bed regularly, feeding them correctly, and keeping an eye out for any signs of distress or illness.
Nicole Forney works as a veterinary assistant and loves going to work every day to cuddle the critters! She has picked up a wealth of knowledge through her job and likes to education pet owners on the best care of their animals through her articles.